Want to know the secret to a better marriage and good sex life?

MP900446473We’re always on the look out for ways to inspire men to see the benefits of pairing with a female breadwinner and join the campaign for gender equality. Today a savvy Scottish female breadwinner sent us the article in The Evening Standard: ‘Lower-earning men ‘better in bedroom’. A UK survey of 1,010 married couples found over half of the men who earned less than their spouses described their love lives as ‘hot’ or ‘very good’. We just had to share this with our forward thinking readers!

The survey by Time’s Money Magazine, ‘Love and Money, By The Numbers’ found:

  • 90% of lesser earning husbands reported ‘happy’ marriages compared to 75% of men whose wives earned less.
  • 56% of lesser earning husbands reported ‘good sex lives’ compared to 44% of men whose wives earned less.
  • Female breadwinners looked after the home finances: 76% of these women paid the bills, compared to 49% of women who earned less than their husbands.

So, is the secret to a better marriage and a good sex life to marry a female breadwinner?

We at Female Breadwinners don’t advocate men quit their jobs to improve their sex lives. However it is certainly another pleasurable reason for men to advocate for greater gender pay equity.


In Defence of the the Career ‘Queen Bee’

Two Young Women in Front of the Computer TalkingOne of the most frequent complaints I hear from audiences of young women is that the senior women above them don’t mentor or support them enough.  While I understand their frustration at climbing the ladder in male dominated fields, when questioned they admit that not every male boss they ever had was supportive. While I wish we lived in a world where every senior woman offered more support to every junior women, the truth is: there is just not that many senior women to go around for every woman who’d like help and of those who are great mentors. These women are busy; speaking at Women’s Networks, being wheeled out at diversity events in addition to the day job of competing with their male colleagues. Plus, the more they advocate for junior women, the more it draws attention to their ‘otherness’ – something they have usually worked their whole career to help the men look past.

At Female Breadwinners, we think we simply expect these women to be more nurturing, more helpful – perfect advocates and mentors. Our standards are much higher than what we expect in male leaders. A Washington Post article on ‘Queen Bee’ CEOs get scrutiny and flak while ‘king wasps’ get a free pass, commented, “If they [female executives] are too tough, too masculine, they’re Queen Bees. If they’re too soft, too feminine, they’re ineffective leaders. Deemed either likable or competent, they’re rarely judged “just right.”

Women in leadership deal with these double standard by often going to different extremes. Some turn into ‘Queen Bees’ – women who have sacrificed to get where they are, worked harder than any man and expect aspiring others to do the same. If they display little sympathy for flexible working or full maternity leave, for example, they aren’t deemed to be ‘realistic role models’. I routinely hear younger women harshly judge senior women as not having the kind of lives they aspire to. This may be very true, but they rarely speak ill of male bosses who display the same inflexibility in their attitudes. Men are often ‘forgiven’ for these attitudes, as it’s too often what we have come to expect. On the other had, we unfairly ‘expect’ women to be better than that. But the double bind means these women can’t easily be both tough and soft in the same environment.

At Female Breadwinners, we work with companies companies to manage these perceptions by increasing the number of women in leadership roles. The more women become normalized in positions of power, the more likely society is to accept them on their own terms.

3 of the Best Television Dramas for Female Breadwinners

BORGEN_S3_AMAZON_SLATE._V367748629_SX385_SY342_With the dawn of the box-set and the ubiquity of on-demand services, it seems our choices for great television have never been better. We thought we’d share 3 of the best dramas for female breadwinners; those that feature interesting, flawed, but passionate working women. This is television so they may be more glamorous than us mere mortals, but we love that these women are pragmatic, enjoy their work and aren’t afraid of power. So when you have a bit of rare down time, we’d recommend:

Borgen: A top series from the land of The Killing, featuring a fictional female Danish prime minister. Each episode features heroine Birgitte Nyborg making tough choices and negotiating  politics aiming to keep her family and sense of integrity intact. No tough challenge then? We love the way a tough social challenge is tackled in each episode; from offering aid to dictators in Africa to banning prostitution in an effort to curb trafficking – finding that each issue is far less straightforward than we’d like to believe. Our only disappointment? The show is now off the air and not even available on BBC iPlayer so it’s a box-set investment if you want to catch up – but its well worth the investment.

The Bridge: We love the Bridge for the way it challenges social conventions as to what a female heroine should be. Saga Noren is a near autistic copper with a weakness for leather trousers and one night stands. Her meticulous and considered approach to crime-solving is a great foil for her male partner; a seemingly family man who the fantastic ‘soft skills’ of reading and communicating with people we’ve come to associate primarily with female characters. A crime drama that goes beyond ‘the usual suspects’.

Scandal: An American import, this series, features Olivia Pope, a Washington ‘fixer’ – the person who cleans up the highly sensitive problems of politicians whilst herself having an affair with the President of the US. While this one has more of a soap opera feel than our other two recommendations, we love Scandal for putting a African American actress as the female lead. What’s even better is that her race is not a main issue; she’s just a strong woman leading a great team, who happens to be black. Female Breadwinners were disappointed that Kerry Washington was pipped to the post for an Emmy this past year, her win would have made her the first black female lead to win the award ever. But there’s always next year…

‘Women economists are cheaper than men’ – Alan Greenspan

equalpay-final_2There have always been canny employers who understand women are an undervalued talent, and subsequently value for money. Alan Greenspan, an American economist, in the 1980s employed mostly female senior staff, and stated:

“I always valued men and women equally, and I found that because others did not, good women economists were cheaper than men. Hiring women does two things: It gives us better-quality work for less money, and it raises the market value of women.’’

As Tuesday 8th April saw the 19th Equal Pay Day. This public awareness event was established in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE). Tuesday is symbolic of how far into the week a women must work in order to earn the same as her male colleague earned the previous week. It is disappointing that this is still the case today. The intransigent gender pay gap is still an issue and the fact that, in general, women’s pay is lower, does mean they’re a better deal for employers.

It is an unfortunate truism that women will often work for less money than men. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It is a huge injustice that women are still earning on average almost £5,000 a year less than men. This pay gap can add up to hundreds of thousands over the course of a woman’s career”.

The debate around gender diversity is not new but what is new, is the shift in impetus from discussion about the fairness and equality, to the fact that employing women can led to improved performance for organisations.

Numerous studies show that companies can increase profitability from improving the balance of women in their workforce, particularly at the senior levels. Papers such as “Innovation By Design: The Case for Investing in Women” summarise that companies would see advantages to employing women across the board and adopting diverse team dynamics. Advantages such as enhancing organisational performance and the companies reputation; increased innovation and new opportunities to capitalise on exceptional talent.

Taking all this into account, it is true, hiring women can boost the bottom line — they’re cheaper, but more importantly, they will make you money!

Snickers Advert: Is keeping men hungry the answer to gender equality?

Australian Snickers Ad“Do you wanna hear a filthy word?…..” shouts the construction worker from the scaffolding to a passing woman. We at Female Breadwinners cringed before hearing the catcall, “…..Gender bias!”. We were not expecting that! The latest Australian advert for Snickers involves actors shouting non-sexist hoots, such as the one above, to passing women. The messages expressed are respectful, gender neutral and indeed empowering. One builder catcalls: “You know what I’d like to see? A society in which the objectification of women makes way for gender neutral introductions, free from assumptions and expectations. You go girl!”.

On the surface the ad appears to have an anti-misogyny theme. Sadly not all is as it seems and the slogan, “You’re not you when you’re hungry” hits your screen leaving you feel cheated and somewhat deflated after a refreshing moment is compared to that of a hunger driven madness. You are left questioning whether it is sexist or entertaining, and it has evoked this mixed reaction globally. There has been an massive response on Twitter with tweets such as;

“Why do these men have to be starving in order to believe #women deserve respect?”

Another one asks:

“Tagline at the end of the #snickersaustralia advert is confusing. So, when men are full they go back to being sexist?”

The advert appears to be sexist to men and women both alike. By suggesting that the men ‘aren’t themselves’ implies they’re otherwise a group of misogynists. Additionally, no person should be subjected to any street harassment scenario. A Mars spokeswoman stated in a Australian newspaper, “We do not endorse any behaviour that offends women or accept derogatory comments towards anyone”.

This video got our attention here at Female Breadwinners. So the question we are left with is: If the way to a man’s heart in through his stomach, are hungry men the only ones that believe in equality?

Check out the video and let us know what you think?


Like Aretha Says: ‘R.E.S.P.E.C.T! – 5 Ways to Get More Respect as a Woman Manager

women managerRespect is elusive for many managers, though especially those who lack leadership skills, rule by fear, or aim to please team members versus putting the company’s best interests first. However, there are also plenty of managers who truly deserve respect but struggle to get it. In our work at Female Breadwinners, we find women managers are faced with difficult challenges in this regard- including employees who find them unreasonable or allow bias to creep into their judgements.

A wonderful article in Forbes recently covered the ways managers can get more respect at their workplace. We would like to focus on those points which are more essential for women managers.

Be Kind and Direct -

While most women managers do manage to convey kindness in their communication, it’s important to balance that with being direct. Over relying on kindness can increase the risk of being perceived as a pushover. Most employees just want their manager to tell them the truth about their performance or their future prospects. Managers who can be direct but kind with their employees will earn both respect and gratitude.

Develop a sense of humour -

Levity is a great tension breaker and the sign of a savvy leader. People can be made to feel at ease with sharp wit that is professional and relates to the job. Women managers can use humour to better connect with their employees.

Praise publicly, punish privately -

Praise and recognition are two tenets of good management and gaining the respect of your staff. While it is important to show genuine appreciation publicly, one must be careful to never humiliate someone by giving negative feedback in public. Such criticism can set off a chain reaction of mistrust and fear on the team that will be difficult to overcome. On the other hand, constructive private feedback demonstrates that you have their best interests at heart.

Be mindful of your image -

If what you do and what you say are not reflected in your lifestyle, you are bound to lose big on respect from your employees and clients. This is a particular challenge for women as younger women find it hard to be taken seriously and older women often tend to get written off too. Women managers need to put in that extra effort to build up a reputation which establishes themselves as good leaders and be extra alert about it being tarnished.

Believe in yourself -

Sometimes, confidence is half the battle in succeeding. Confidence, poise and professionalism are a magnet for any team. It is important to remain equipoised in any situation- irrespective of the challenges being faced. However, don’t confuse tenacity with being myopic or stubborn; you can follow your instincts while remaining flexible according to events that unfold.

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